Wow. Mr. Spud is in shock. The Super Bowl wasn't a blowout - it was actually exciting!

It was certainly nice to see that the matchup between the Giants and the Bills was still in doubt up until the second-to-last play of the game.ABC is even more thrilled. Early indications are that viewership actually increased through the end of the game, instead of declining as has been the case in recent years.COKE vs. PEPSI: The battle on the gridiron wasn't the only interesting contest on Super Bowl Sunday - the Battle of the Colas was also intriguing.

In this corner, you had Pepsi and its lavish ad campaign, centering on Ray Charles.

And in this corner, you had Coca-Cola and its non-campaign. The soft drink giant ran very simple spots - scrolling words with a voice-over - announcing that it had pulled its elaborate ads because of the situation in the Middle East. Viewers were also told that Coke had donated $1 million to the USO in "our" names.

A wonderful gesture. But Mr. Spud, being the cynic that he is, can't escape the nagging feeling that it was all just a Madison Avenue ploy to gain Coke customers - that the ads were even more cynical than he is.DUMB ADS: Can anyone explain the Bud Bowl to me?

Did this third annual parade of incredibly stupid, unfunny commercials purporting to show a football game between Budweiser and Bud Light really encourage people to drink beer? Or was it simply a chance for Keith Jackson and Don Meredith to look incredibly ignorant?STICK TO SPORTS: Why, oh why, does ABC force Al Michaels to do promos and commercials? He's pretty darn good at calling a football game, but he's a lousy pitchman. Oh, he's OK when he's talking about an upcoming sports event. But promoting "Davis Rules" was a disaster.

And he hit bottom with his Pepsi push - saying, "You've got the right one, baby. Uh huh" was ludicrous.SUPER VIEWING: Mr. Spud may have hit on the perfect way to watch the Super Bowl - tune in 30 seconds before the kickoff and tune out as soon as the final gun sounds.

Who needs hours of pre- and post-game shows?